How to Start a Ride

Pre-Ride Preparation-before leaving for the ride

  • Read the Ride Leader Guidelines on the NSC Ride Leader Information page
  • For Sunday Ride Leaders: Send a reminder email to NSC@NSCYC.org on Thursday night of Friday - note that if the weather is uncertain riders should check their email Saturday night or Sunday for the final call.  Use the template from previous rides and add information if you wish.  Be sure to provide the website link for the details.
  • For Recurring (weekday and Saturday) Ride Leaders: If the weather is clear a reminder email to NSC@NSCYC.org is optional.  If the weather is uncertain keep the members informed via email to NSC@NSCYC.org.  If you know the weather won't be suitable for riding you can cancel either the night before or the morning of the ride.  If it's in doubt during the day you can wait until up to an hour or two before start time to make the final call.
  • There are no specific criteria for cancelleation but 40-50% chance of rain or very wet roads are reasonable benchmarks.  Use good judgement and err on the side of caution.  Feel free to consult one of the officers or the ride coordinator. 
  • Be sure to have the printed Member Sign In Form (for members) and the Non-Member Sign-In Waiver Form (for non-members)
  • Also be sure you have sufficient cue sheets available for each route.  We have a lot of new riders, many of whom do not have navigation.
  • Formulate your pre-ride speech ahead of time so you know what you are going to say.
  • Be sure sufficient parking is available. If necessary be prepared to designate someone to direct riders as to where to park.

Pre-Ride Preparation-upon arriving at the start

  • Arrive early to coordinate pre-ride activities.
  • Be available to answer questions about the ride, mileage, food, etc.
  • Be sure cue sheets are handed out by yourself or an assistant. When handing out cue sheets ask if the rider is a member and if not get them to sign the waiver.
  • If it is not obvious that a rider will be wearing a helmet, tell them the NSC requires helmets.
  • Make sure every member signs in on the member sheet and every non-member signs the non-member waiver.  Non-members are allowed one ride as a non-member.
  • Identify riders who do not have someone to ride with and wish to ride with wsomeon.
  • Gather the group just before ride time, remind them briefly of COVID and basic safety guidelines (see below)
  • When faced with a large crowd (primarily Sundays) it will help to split the group in two based on the distance people are planning to ride and have an experienced rider assist in getting riders signed in and a separte safety talk.

Provide a pre-ride speech suggestion. This has to be short but effective.

  1.  Introduce yourself and welcome everyone in behalf of NSC.
  2. Call for non-members: "Is anyone not a member of NSC. Please come forward and sign a waiver form."
  3. Safety Talk - Reinforce safety issues. Where applicable, cite any known safety issues on the ride. Reinforce the following safe riding principals:
  • Obey all vehicle laws.
  • Pay attention to road conditions, traffic, and other riders.
  • Signal intentions verbally and with hand signals - this includes: turns, slowing, stopping, holes and other road hazards.
  • Call out "on your left" when passing - this is important to make sure the person in front does not pull out in front of passing cyclists

4.Ride Information - Briefly describe the ride. Remember only a few points can be retained so make them count.

  • Indicate major points of interest
  • Inidicate major problem areas with reference to mileage.
  • Indicate the mileage for splits

5.Arrow information - If the route is arrowed hold up a sample of the arrow or point it out on the pavement so everyone will know what it looks like.

Ride Start

  • If the group is small, announce the start and let riders filter out.
  • If the group is large, stagger the start to avoid congestion. Let the faster riders start first. Allow several minutes between groups.

At the End

  • Try to account for all the riders that started by checking for empty cars in the parking area. If a rider remains out much longer than expected recruit help from other riders and backtrack the route by car. DO NOT KNOWINGLY LEAVE A RIDER STRANDED.
  • Police the area after most of the riders have returned.
  • Send filled out waiver forms to the Ride Coordinator or President.